• Connor Watson

“The Art of the Deal” - College Football

We all want to be valued highly, for some that means driving a nice car, for others that’s sporting a shiny watch.

For Tua Tagovailoa that means being a top 15 first round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. An attitude that could cost him dearly in the long run…

Right now the dilemma facing the injured Alabama quarterback is whether he should enter the draft, or spend one more year playing college football.

As with every decision in life there are pros and cons, however I can’t help but only see cons with staying at college.

Before his hip injury, Tua was looking at being a top three pick going into the draft, the only other quarterback likely to beat him to that number one spot was LSU’s Joe Burrow.

So why shouldn’t he stay at college now he is predicted to drop to a lower pick?

Right now he is ‘on trend’, Lamar Jackson is paving the way for interesting new quarterbacks and will most likely secure season MVP and see his first Super Bowl.

Interest in a college prospect like Tua will never be higher, we’re looking at a year with most likely five changes in the head coaching role and realistically eight quarterback changes.

With so many changes, falling lower in the draft isn’t the worst thing to happen to Tua. At the top position he would have gone to a team like the Bengals, Dolphins or Redskins, teams that for whatever reason are in no position to nurture or develop a talent like Tua.

Instead, falling in the draft leaves him open for a team like the Chargers or Panthers, organisations with experienced and veteran players as well as the staff ready to work with the raw talent he currently possess.

My main issue with Tua staying at college one more year, centres on his ability to play well, another injury at the college level and any hopes of playing in the NFL are blown out of the water.

Even if Tua avoids injury, can he replicate the successful year Alabama has had this season, are we certain other quarterbacks won’t prove to be too much competition and will we see something we don’t like with another year under the scouting microscope?

While the biggest concern for Tua currently is the money made on his first contract, a good mindset to have - no player should be short changed for the work they put in, he should really be focusing on the money made after his rookie deal.

What player makes bank on their first contract? We’re looking at a sport where players are having to wait and cash in big on their third and fourth year contracts. In a salary cap league, teams will want to know they have a franchise quarterback on their roster before agreeing to pay anything big.

Right now the most important thing for Tua is of course, getting healthy. He is the only one who can evaluate what is best for him but if his dreams lie in the NFL, delaying that for another year while risking another injury sounds like a wild strategy.